Students Make A Difference By Volunteering At Local Camp
Sep10

Students Make A Difference By Volunteering At Local Camp

An area of 120 acres of land near Farm to Market Road 2484 in Killeen enchants the lives of special needs youth at the Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children. Executive Director Leslie Gilmore believes that campers have the opportunity to enjoy activities they otherwise would not be able to participate in due to their limitations. These sports include archery, high and low ropes and horseback riding. Even immobilized children can enter the swimming pool with the assistance of camp staff and the wheelchair ramp. Peaceable Kingdom grants children with special needs a safe haven to forget their difference and just be kids. Campers attend diagnosis-specific camps where they are surrounded by other children with whom they can relate. In June, for example, children missing one or two limbs attended “Camp Out on a Limb” where they participated in activities they never dreamed of being able to do, like zip lining. Freshman English major Cici Ramos is a volunteer at the camp, and she finds encouragement because “there is a place like this for kids with disabilities that makes them feel good about themselves”. As part of a Welcome Week event two weeks ago, a group of UMHB students headed out to Peaceable Kingdom for the morning to serve at the retreat. Although camps were over for the season, Crusaders worked on behind-the-scenes projects such as laundry, inventory and cleaning cabins. Sophomore accounting and finance double major Fernando Guiterrez was on the team that cleaned cabins for the next group of campers. He said that UMHB helped him decide to participate. “Attending a small college in such a tight community encourages me to want to give back.” More than 5,000 children from across Central Texas are helped annually by Peaceable Kingdom through the summer, weekend and school programs. Children from Scott & White, Scottish Rite and Dell Children’s hospitals, as well as numerous special needs students from area schools, are brought to the retreat day-trips to participate in the Environmental Education Program. It has specific programming and curriculum, all tailored to special education needs. The organization originated in 1984. Dubbed “Baby Charlie’s First Fishing Camp,” the program was originally named in memory of the founder’s grandson, who died at the age of 1 after being born with a heart ailment. After the name change, the Variety Club of Texas became immensely involved. The Texas children’s charity group spearheaded a fundraising campaign for Peaceable Kingdom as well, which was vital for the retreat’s growth and ability to serve more children. In 2011, Peaceable Kingdom became a  flagship program under the Variety umbrella, Gilmore said. Gilmore acknowledges that she and her staff work diligently...

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Letter from the President: Welcome home, Crusaders
Aug27

Letter from the President: Welcome home, Crusaders

Welcome! Whether you are a new student experiencing college life for the first time, a returning upperclassman, or a graduate student back on campus after summer break, we are glad you are here. Over the summer, our faculty and staff have been praying for you, preparing for you, and anxiously awaiting your arrival. Now that you are here, we are excited to kick off the 2013-2014 school year! When you look around campus, you will notice many changes have taken place. The finishing touches are being added to Crusader Stadium, which will open with the inaugural game against Wesley College on September 21, and construction continues on the adjacent student union building set to open in January. Parking lots stand where buildings used to be, roads have been relocated, and sidewalks replaced. However, even though there are physical and structural changes taking place, the heart of Mary Hardin- Baylor remains the same through our mission of preparing students for leadership, service, and  faith-informed discernment in a global society, and vision of UMHB being the university of choice for Christian higher education in the Southwest. As we start the new semester, I would like to encourage you to get involved in the many activities available to you at UMHB. The fall semester is full of opportunities to dive deeper into the Crusader culture and experience all that campus life has to offer. Go to as many events as you are able, try new activities, enjoy your classes, and make our traditions your own. Mary Hardin-Baylor continues our commitment to grow, expand, and evolve in order to ensure that you will truly have an education for life and the experience of a lifetime. I am excited about our future here at UMHB, and excited that our future is you. Welcome home,...

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TIPA: Student publications hoist awards, learn career skills
Apr17

TIPA: Student publications hoist awards, learn career skills

By Ashleigh Bugg Members of the newspaper and yearbook staffs returned from the annual Texas Intercollegiate Press Association convention in Ft. Worth April 4-6 with more than 50 awards. The Bells won 31 TIPA awards as well as Society of Professional Journalists awards for Region 8, an area that covers non-daily collegiate newspapers for all of Oklahoma and Texas. In the best all-around newspaper category, The Bells took home second place, and junior public relations major Christian Hernandez won first place in sports writing. The Bluebonnet, the university’s yearbook, won 23 awards total at TIPA, including an honorable mention for overall yearbook excellence. Sophomore elementary education major and yearbook editor Kathryn Smith won first place in the academics package category. Junior nursing major Mariana Jauregui placed second for her sports feature photo. The Bells staff members also acquired accolades from the Texas  Intercollegiate Press Association winning 24 print awards and four online honors. Senior mass communication/journalism major and Bells editor-in-chief JC Jones won first place in the in-depth reporting category. “My personal awards were great, but I’m most proud of how the staff did overall. It has been an honor to work with such a talented group of journalists,” she said. The TIPA convention hosted workshops on topics ranging from finding jobs in the journalism field to current social media trends. Students were encouraged by learning tips to find internships and ways to incorporate 3-D photography in newspapers. Participants at TIPA attended the Hall of Fame Induction luncheon Friday, April 5. Renowned reporter Kathleen McElroy was instated and delivered a short speech. Despite her small stature, McElroy commanded the room as she spoke to aspiring journalists about the necessity of thinking critically. “We’ve been programmed to accept certain things…. You must think ‘why are people telling you what they are telling you?’” McElroy urged students to remember that every situation has a backstory, and it’s imperative to use unique quirks and past experiences to their advantage. “When I started I had a superpower…. I was a black woman who knew sports. There needs to be diversity of thought. It’s about getting out of your realm.” Bob Ray Sanders of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram also  had inspirational advice for young media. “We don’t need more pretty people…. We need you to be committed to the truth. We need passion and compassion,” he said. Instead of taking stories at face value, TIPA participants were encouraged to pay attention to details and know their history. Although critics sometimes give journalism a bad rap, mentors like McElroy and Sanders believe young people will usher in a new era. “Journalism has been given a...

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Tennis players’ hard work is serving them well
Apr17

Tennis players’ hard work is serving them well

By Leif Johnston With two tournaments left in the season the men’s tennis team has it’s sights set on being the ASC West Division champion. If the men clinch the title, they will host the conference tournament for both the men and women. “We are in the driver seat, but we have to still deal with Hardin-Simmons. We have had three-way triangles before in the top teams,” Head Coach James Cohagan said. The men fell to Texas Lutheran this past Friday, which put the Cru at 2-1 in division play.  After suffering their first conference loss the men got back to their winning ways against Schriener with a  commanding victory. “Texas Lutheran has very good depth, and it’s not just winning it one and two, deep down their lineup on the men’s side is very good,” Cohagan said. The men have continued to  make headway as the season has progressed, but they still  believe there is room for improvement to take their game to the next level. “We have improved in doubles and have seen that our new doubles lineups are working, and we are building wins on the road to a west victory,” junior computer science major Jimmy Turner said. Many things have led to the success of the program, but Cohagan explained that it is mainly the ambition of the players to keep moving forward that has made this team successful. “The biggest key to success is always  hard work. The kids choose to be out here. We have a lot of kids with time demands, so it takes discipline.” The women’s side of things hasn’t missed a single beat all season and is on pace to contend for a conference championship as well. With an impressive 4-0 conference record, they have high aspirations for the remainder of their season. “I think we have a good chance at making it to conference, and our season is looking good so far. I have confidence in our team this year,” junior nursing major Chaley Shiffler said. The women also came out on top against TLU this weekend.  Although they have exhibited their dominance over these teams this season, the ladies didn’t take them lightly. “I think anytime you show up to play, you better be ready. Those have been teams we have beaten pretty easily in the past, but they have better depth now.” The level of play is high throughout the conference. “Both of those teams have beaten Hardin-Simmons, which has been our traditional rival on the women’s side, so we knew we would have our hands full,” Cohagan said. Both teams will be hosting Southwestern University and...

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Baseball and softball on home stretch
Apr17

Baseball and softball on home stretch

By Cody Weems   The  baseball and softball regular seasons are coming to a close, and both teams have their eyes set on postseason play with a shot at a conference championship. The baseball team currently sits fourth in the West Division of the American Southwest Conference, holding on to the final spot in the conference tournament. The team has had to deal with the inexperience of players, but sophomore pitcher and pre-physical therapy major Ian Ekery believes they are tough to beat when they play at their full potential. “Some days our offensive approach can be a bit streaky. Some days our pitching isn’t as sharp as it could be, but we’ve also seen glimpses of how we look when we can put it all together,” Ekery said. “Whenever we’re on that level, I like our chances against anyone out there.” The lack of experience has been difficult at times, but freshman outfielder and accounting major Chase Burrow thinks the team has discovered its identity through the challenges. “We have grown to know what each player brings to the table,” Burrow said. “We have four to six freshmen in the lineup every game, and they have really stepped up. We know that the upperclassmen will do their job, and they trust us to do ours.” Even though the team has defied expectations this season, they’re not satisfied with just being in the conference tournament; they want to win it. And plan on doing whatever it takes to achieve their goals. “We know what is at stake, and we know what we have to do,” Burrow said. “We are gearing up to make a run. The ASC is a tough league, and we have a tough team ready to rise to the challenge.” Meanwhile, the softball team sits second in the ASC West, and though they may not repeat as division champions, their goal of winning the conference tournament is still very much alive. “We started the season with one goal in mind, and that is winning the conference tournament,” Assistant Coach Julie Norris said. “We are still on track with that goal, which will put us in the regional tournament.” The team came into the season with high expectations after making it to the conference tournament championship a season ago. This year, they’ve endured some rough patches at times, but senior infielder and exercise and sport science major Caitlin Bollier believes the team is stronger because of it. “It has been an up and down season, but I think this group of individuals has dealt with the adversity well,” Bollier said. “We have continued to grow as a...

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